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June 2016

Scallop Season 2016

With Scallop season 2016 in full swing the reports from everyone from Steinhatchee to Homosassa are coming in and the word is lots of limits coming over the side of the boat. On opening weekend of Scallop season 2016 are boats scallop season 2016picked up at 8am in Homosassa and Crystal River and had their limits of Scallops in a few hours. We than moved around looking for some new spots and we found them from 2 feet of water all the way out to 9 feet of water. The best depth was in the 3 to 6 foot of water around the shorter grass around the sandy areas. Let’s make the Scallop season 2016 a safe one.

The regulations are strictly in forced so please read and follow them. You can read them at Myfwc.com and search on Scallops. Here are the limits that you are allowed.

Florida Recreational Regulations:

Regulations Bay Scallop Harvest Zone (West end of St. Vincent Island through Pasco-Hernando County line) Gulf County (includes all waters west of St. Vincent Island through the west bank of Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County)
Minimum Size Limit  None
Daily Bag Limit 2 gallons whole bay scallops in shell, or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person

Maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell, or 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat per vessel

40 scallops per person or 200 per vessel, whichever is less
Season* Open June 25 – Sept. 24 from Open Aug. 22 – Sept. 5, 2016 (Labor Day)

Here is the regulation on having divers in the water and the last few years the FWC has given out lots of ticket’s and its not a small fine. You can also look these regulations can be looked up at Myfwc.com and search on dive flag.

The buoy can be three or four-sided and must have a divers-down symbol of at least 12-by-12-inches displayed on each of the flat sides. Such a buoy should help divers, especially those in open waters, be more visible to passing boats.

Divers-down symbols displayed onboard a boat must still be a flag at least 20-by-24-inches and displayed at a high point where it is visible from any direction. Divers may still use a divers-down flag of at least 12-by-12-inches on a float when towed along with them while in the water.

Being highly visible to boaters is critical to keeping divers and snorkelers safe in the water.diver down flag scalloping 2016

“Divers should stay within the required distance of their flag or buoy – 300 feet in open water and 100 feet in rivers, inlets and channels, as that’s where boat operators are expecting you to be. Boat operators should do their best to stay these same distances away from any divers-down flag or buoy, and all boats being operated within these distances from a divers-down symbol must be slowed to no more than idle speed.

Capt Jim Lemke charters out of Tampa, St. Petersburg, Homosassa and Clearwater and can be reached at (813) 917-4989 and at captjimlemke@gmail.com.